Hey Tim, I was just wondering if you had any experience with Aikido, what you thought of it, and what you think the advantages/disadvantages of training in it may be? My question actually goes out to anyone with any experience in Aikido? thanx!
I've done a little Aikido... IMO Aikido is very inspired in tactics and in it's overall philosophy. However I don't believe any of O-Sensei's students are anywhere near as good as he was in unrehersed combat.
Aikido mainly revolves around the "I attack-you defend" sort of training program, leaving some students with a grossly overinflated opinion of their fighting capability. Aikido works excellently with stupid people who overextend their attacks (karate practioners and my friends when they're drunk) but doesn't work very well with people who are quick and well balanced.
That being said, if you like it, why not do it?
Over a period of about 10 years, in my 20's and 30's I trained in Yoshinkan Aikido, on and off.
I had a job for a couple of years in security at a hotel. I found that aikido worked very well in the few situations I found myself in.
For what it's worth.
Just my few cents...
I've been involved in martial arts for about 9 years. Some of that time was spent with Aikido. I feel its philosophies and concepts are very applicable to combat (ie: yielding with force, positioning for superior footwork, etc.). I feel however, that some schools don't stress atemi enough. O'Sensei was at a VERY advanced level, when his atemi became almost non-existant. Many schools don't stress that distractionary strike enough. But that's a teacher issue, not a style issue.
Now concerning Karate. I've NEVER taken karate, however my fiance' takes Shotokan (she's a blackbelt in this particular art). I watched her class train. They do NOT overextend. Infact, this particular school has a VERY solid understanding of the kata's bunkai (more than just punching and kicking) and using the hips for power. It was very impressive, and her class caused me to gain a great deal of respect for the art, which I previously did not have. After doing forms for years, you can see the circular motions within the straight lines of the kata. It becomes softer as the practitioner learns. Its only hard and linear for the beginner levels. Granted Xing Yi is an internal art, but with Xing Yi also, with practice, you begin to feel the small and tight circles within the direct lines of the forms.
Infact, I would venture to say that at the advanced level, all arts seem to almost converge. Once you've been drilled in the fundamentals (weight distribution between arts may very, rudimentary posture, entry, etc), the actual techniques begin to look very similar. (NOTE: I'm speaking of a MARTIAL art...not a sport). Most likely because there are only a few physical combinations that can apply devastating power with speed. There may be practitioner differences (ie: a predisposition towards linear rather than circular or locks rather than breaks), but the possibilities within the art seem to converge.
PS: Since its hard to sometimes "read" a person's emotional tone in a post... I was NOT offended or mad about the karate post. Just clarifying since I had a similar misconception about it, when I was younger.
Aikido is fun to do, fun to watch, you learn to fall really well, do some cool leverages and throws, get to wear a hakama, has interesting philosophy, and is probably a good exercise. sometimes you even get to play with a boken and jo. Too bad it's useless in a real fight (just my opinion).
I think Aikido is an art with excellent principles and a very sophisticated method of body use and application. I think the one key thing that is lacking in most Aikido dojo is non-cooperative sparring training. I know the excuse is that Aikido is not a 'sport' and is 'too deadly' to spar with, but my belief is that contact sparring with non-cooperative opponents is vital to developing practical fighting skills you can use in real fighting situations(especially if you are faced with a determined and experienced opponent).
Remember, O Sensei Ueshiba practiced Judo first, then several styles of Ju-Jitsu as well as Sumo. All these styles involve free sparring practices. I believe he had the requisite experience to apply the Daito Ryu he learned before he even learned it, the same with his Aikido.
I practised Aikido for two years and I must say I like it's yielding principle and circular motion very much. However, like Tim said, I do have problems with it's "coorperative" training methods. Most of the fancy "head-over-heel" break falls that you see at Aikido demos are results of coorperation. Such scenes are rare in Judo because in situations when two players are working against each other, if one person is thrown, he is REALLY being thrown. I vividly remember when I attened one Aikido seminar, a blackbelt I was working with kept on correcting me because I was "holding his wrist the wrong way;" therefore making it hard for him to apply the technique.....(Do you tell your attacker how to hit you in a real fight?)
I think one must keep in mind that Aikido is O'Sensei's ultimate creation after decades of Jujitsu training. In his later years, he had reached the point where he could lead, blend, and play with opponenets force at will. He no longer had to really strike the opponenets to make the techniques workable. However, if Aikido practitioners try to "fly before they can walk," and practice their moves on coorperative partners only, they will be very disappointed when they find out that the stuffs they do in dojos don't work on the streets.
I was recently reading a book called Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge. It is an overview of the Tomiki style of Aikido. Tomiki was a top student of Kano, before studying with Ueshiba. According to the book, the striking and joint techniques of Aikido complement the throwing and grappling of Judo. The two represent different aspects of traditional jujutsu, with some overlap between elbow techniques (Aikido) and holding techniques (Judo).
The Tomiki style techniques seem to have been organized around basic principles, similar to the Practical Chin Na book of Zhao Da Yuan. In addition, Tomiki supposedly introduced a method of non-cooperative sparring (randori) that is used for competitions. Has anyone had experience with this particular style of Aikido, and what did you think?
I am curious, do you think you could use Aikido techniques effectively, NOW, based on your current level of experience and understanding of technique? Tim wrote above that it is based on excellent principles.
I believe, it is really hard to make any generalizations about Aikido, it's a relatively new art, and already has over 20 different styles, there is really no consistency to Aikido.
It seems to me that all martial arts are based on the human body, so of course Aikido uses many of the same principals and techniques as other martial arts rendering it just as effective; in theory. How ever they don't to any thing that is not agreed a pon before hand, even in jiyu waza (Aikido free practice) it's not much different' then push hands, where neither person is really trying to enforce there will on the other. Aikido is inherently uke nage (one designated to fall, one designated to through, or control) this means that inherently Aikido, isn't real! I personally have never done a tomiki tournament, however when I asked if my teacher knew what they did, he told me it was all jugged, like point sparing karate, I did a little investigation and you can find tomiki rules at: http://www.tomiki.org/ , it sounds like point sparing to me.
I think Aikido is good therapy for angry people, good exercise for old people, a way to learn how your body works if you don't do anything, and an interesting study for those interested in Japanese martial history, but it's not a fighters art, and is not designed to deal with any one who knows what they are doing.
Just a thought,
I felt compelled to thrown in here, I echoed a lot of what's been said in this post in the past. I have a mixed background, HS wrestling, TKD, Karate, Aikido (4 years) and now exclusively BauGuaZhang. I've found some hind-site on Aikido recently: I've spent my 1st BGZ year walking and stepping (I spent a year in Aikido having overextended chops and punches thrown at me). after that first year of BG, I was pretty good at moving out of the way and around opponants, whoops, same for Aikido. My problem with Aikido is not the Art itself but maybe the way it is taught by most of the instructors I ran into. I believe it works and can be as devistating as any other art if you apply it in that way. The problem, as I see it, is the student is not instructed as to what he is really learning, and is mistakenly left to go down the wrong path. there is a hard core combat side to aikido (aikijitsu); but most classes spend too much time on the "ki" bit without really giving solid "internal art" instruction. - I've never seen a rooted aikido student (or instructor for that matter; however, the instructors are usually more rooted than the students). My experience was to start taking BGZ while studing Aikido, suddenly, i was tearing it up in Aikido class because my BGZ teacher was able to turn the lights on for me while my Aikido buddies were still dancing/floating around in the dark. I switched to BGZ, don't think I'll go back, or any where else for that matter.
I've never studied Aikido; that said, I've got two comments:
1) Dr. Kano (Judo's founder) said words to the effect that Aikido was what he meant Judo to be.
2) One of my special forces buddies was once a fair judoka (Judo practitioner) -- being on a US Army judo team. He told me that he used his Judo principles & (modified) techniques in actual combat; and when things really got tough he used Aikido principles & techniques.
Ponder that if you will.
I bet when the bullets started flying, he kokyu nage'd his way right out of it! Nikyo beats a 45. any day of the week right.
I thought the guy was a judoka? Make up your mind Mike.
Was he a judoka who was also an aikidoka?
In actual combat, when things get rough, I'd first rely on my m16, then maybe a 1911 or Beretta m9, and then my knife. I'd even use my e-tool before I use stupid aikido.
don't hold back your feelings about Aikido meynard!
Joe Jitsu Calling Dick Tracy, Hold Everything!
Is Tim Cartmell a Xing-Yi Quan practitioner, or a Ba-Gua Zhang practitioner, or a Tai-Ji Quan practitioner, or a Kung-Fu San Soo practitioner, or a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner? He's all that... & perhaps even more. I don't think he's cornered the market on cross-training, 'cause...
All of my special-forces buddies have crossed-trained, been in close-combat situations, & survived many missions (some of which involved hand-to-hand combat). I consider this an endorsement for cross-training in general. And that one of these guys (a judoka since age 6) successfully used Aikido, when Murphy's Law came into a situation & all hell broke loose, is an endorsement for cross-training in Aikido specifically.
One of my Seal buddies used a couple of techniques he didn't learn in high-school wrestling against a Panamanian who stepped out from the jungle upon him one day ('though his HS experience combined with his Seal training made him feel quite comfortable doing them) -- oh, cross-training again. Not having a decent opportunity to bring his rifle to bear upon this enemy soldier (nor time to seek out & draw pistol or knife, nor time to draw & perhaps unfold an e-tool -- & unlike Joe Jitsu, he couldn't freeze-frame the situation to give him any more time, so), my buddy (1) threw his rifle at his enemy, & (2) proceeded to step up & break the enemy soldier's neck. He then picked up his rifle & carried out the rest of his mission.
I consider myself fortunate that I've not been in the life-&-death situations that some of my buddies have been in. And sitting in an armchair safe & sound I'm not going to second-guess their choice of actions. I too would prefer to use weapons that may keep an enemy at bay &/or give me the edge against such; but being well read & having been fortunate enough to meet & talk with many combat veterans, I know that things don't always work out as one would like things to work out (does anybody reading this think that the Panamanian soldier mentioned above thought, "This is working out well" as he was in the process of dying for his country? If so, then Oy! Ya wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn?).
Ba-Gua Zhang is akin to Aikido in many ways. And if one knows some Ba-Gua Zhang principles, then I would imagine that one would use them in such a situation (just as one would Aikido if that was one's route to these principles), or else one may end up KIA or wounded while "whipping out" one's e-tool if it's not already at hand.
"So sorry" if anybody is offended by reality. And if so, then take it to the flame room... (8)
I'm glad i never had to rely on my Aikido to save my life, there would likely be no more chris...
I used tenchi nage once. It worked like a charm.
If I could, I'd throw my e-tool right at Mike Taylor. Imagine, a loud thunk right on his forehead!!!
Once in the Marines...blah, blah... Jesus Christ appeared...blah,blah...with a seal buddy of mine who was with a special forces aikido guy...blah, blah... And it goes on and on.
An arm bar is an arm bar, no matter where you learned it !!!
Not really! It all depends on how it is taught and how it is practiced. There are certain subtleties that can make it effective or ineffective.
Aikido dosent' have "arm bars" they only look like it!